Congratulations to Houlton’s Kyle Bouchard for recently eclipsing the 1000 point plateau in his career. Bouchard broke the barrier as the Shiretowners travelled to East Machias this past Monday to take on the Washington Academy Raiders in a key Eastern Maine Class C battle. The junior forward needed thirteen points entering the contest to reach the milestone, which he achieved with a three-point basket from the right corner with six seconds remaining in the opening period. Bouchard finished the night with 36 points in an 84-74 shootout victory.
Kyle comes from a great basketball pedigree as both his parents, Marty and Karen (Spurling) were outstanding players at Houlton in the mid-80′s. Karen played in state championship games for legendary coach John Donato. Marty as a coach won a state championship at Hodgdon High School in 1996 and then became a top official in Aroostook County. Kyle’s grandfather, Terry Spurling, was a standout player in the 1950′s at Ellsworth before embarking on a long, successful coaching career that included stints at Aroostook Central Institute- now known as Central Aroostook High School- and Houlton High School.
Speaking of standout performances, on the girls side how about the effort of Foxcroft Academy’s Brianna Skolfield on Friday night? Skolfield adeptly worked both sides of the low post in scoring 33 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the Ponies 66-53 victory over John Bapst. Skolfield, a junior who spent her first two seasons at Central High School, has helped lead Foxcroft to a 6-3 record thus far, already doubling their win total of last season.
In boys basketball, this past week also featured the return of players who transferred this season returning to face their former teams, with mixed results. On Thursday night in Hermon, Old Town junior guard Eric Hoogterp entered the gym at Hermon High School, where he spent his first two seasons, and scored 16 points to help the Coyotes pull away for a 53-38 victory.
At Fairfield on Saturday, Bangor senior guard Xavier Lewis returned to Folsom Gymnasium for the first time since playing his junior season with Lawrence. Lewis returned to the Queen City, where he spent his first two years of high school. A youthful Lawrence team stunned Bangor on a Cole Robinson 3-pointer with one second remaining 55-54. Lewis scored fifteen points in the contest.
The Caribou boys received a major scare on Saturday afternoon at Old Town when point guard Dayne Savage went down with an ankle injury late in the first quarter in their game against the Coyotes. With a little help from the training staff, Savage was able to return to action for the fourth quarter, with his team trailing by 9. Old Town was able to physically outmuscle the Vikings on this day, with the inside strength of Adam Richardson, Mitchell Cole, and Nick Cowan, and handed the Vikings their second straight defeat 44-35. Caribou looks to get back on track this week after starting the season 6-0.
Now that the holiday season is behind us, the focus really starts to shift to basketball for more of us. Some key match-ups this week include the Bangor boys taking the short trip to Hampden to face the Broncos. On Wednesday, Caribou and Presque Isle renew their storied rivalry in Presque Isle. I’m looking forward to taking in a key Big East B clash with MDI travelling to Old Town. On Thursday, I’ll get my first look this season at the Bangor Rams as they take on Cony. Friday night in Houlton is a battle of contenders in Class C as the Shiretowners take on Calais. On Saturday Bangor takes on Brewer at the Cross Center. Of particular note in this game will be the atmosphere with what should be a sizeable crowd as these two rivals square off. It should be a decent barometer for the tournament atmosphere created in the new arena, which is only six weeks away.